The five stages of mysticism aren't as complex as you may think. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to have a long mane of white hair and live in an exotic, remote part of the world to be a mystic.

The American Heritage dictionary defines mysticism as "...consciousness of transcendent reality or of God through deep meditation or contemplation. Mystic is defined as of or relating to religious mysteries or occult rites and practices; one who practices or believes in mysticism."

You may have deep mystical tendencies and not even realize you're a mystic, by definition.

Spiritually sensitive individuals, those who search deeply for the meaning of life, and those who make self-realization and personal growth a priority are also mystics.

The stages of mysticism involve introduction, exploration, discipline and application, accessing the other side, and then absolute detachment and acceptance of everything and everyone, including what you can't change.

The process of becoming a spiritual wizard is as challenging as any you'll encounter, but if you're like us and are willing to work at it, you can make good progress.

Below we list the five stages of mysticism, according to our long-term empirical findings:

1. Metaphysical topics such as astrology and past lives get a laugh in Hollywood movies and TV shows, and they are targets of attack thanks to conventional wisdom and indoctrination. Yet as a mystic or aspiring mystic, something deep within your being tells you that there's more to those occult topics than at first glance. Later you learn that they're gateways to the meaning of life.

As kids, we enjoyed the show "In Search Of," hosted by Leonard Nimoy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The show covered topics such as reincarnation, psychic phenomena, pyramid secrets, and astrology.

We still recall an episode with a psychic who predicted something that came true years later. It may have been the first time, in this life, we seriously considered the concept of predestination.

As a mystic, perhaps you already realize that the reason you are drawn to metaphysical topics is because you've studied and, or practiced them long ago in previous lifetimes. Also, while that last sentence may seem laughable to someone who has no experience with these topics, you simply "know" that it's true.

2. Exploration of mystical topics becomes a fun diversion or hobby in the second stage. You may seek the counsel of a psychic or astrologer, or try past life regression, and spiritual books that offer ancient wisdom (not just inspiration) become a gold mine of spiritual knowledge to satisfy your craving.

Unfortunately, dead-ends are quite common in the second stage. But you eventually find your footing and the mistakes become guideposts that allow you to advance your spiritual growth.

In the early years, we spent countless hours pouring through every source related to our current areas of expertise. It was exhausting, but worth it.

Another downside of the second stage is that friends and family may not be very accepting of your pursuits. As we explored the paranormal in our youth, someone close to us told us, "You're just going through a stage." How wrong she was.

3. The third stage of mysticism is application of mystical arts and sciences. Through consistent discipline, you begin to see, firsthand, the links between the here and now and the other side. For instance, your regular meditation leads to prophetic dreams and visions that make it easier for you to deal with challenges in life. You might also become acquainted with archangels and your spiritual guides of the Light.

4. In the fourth stage you acknowledge the divinity in everyone and see patterns and signs in everyday life (e.g., "as above, so below"). You consistently pierce the veil between the mundane and higher dimensions.

The esoteric sciences, including astrology and numerology and other psychic arts, also give you insight about situations and everyone you meet, particularly their karma and timing, and what you mean to each other.

Detachment (letting go), gratitude, and faith are three of your most powerful spiritual tools.

5. The fifth stage involves absolute detachment from and acceptance of everything and everyone, including what you can't change. We have yet to meet someone who practices this authentically at all times. We aspire to attain this level of being some day. Those who do remain in a state of bliss and nothing fazes them. Typically, people may bounce up to this peak temporarily, but then tumble back down to a lower level when life happens.

Ultimately, the five stages of mysticism involve developing and following your intuition, looking beyond conventional logic and seeking the truth, exploring metaphysics, consistent discipline, making the most of yourself and your life, and accepting what you can't change. The benefits are authentic spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of yourself and others, which all lead to spiritual riches well beyond what most people can fathom.

Copyright © Scott Petullo, Stephen Petullo

Author's Bio: 

Scott Petullo and Stephen Petullo offer vital, 
yet sensible and practical
 spiritual guidance and tools, including their Spiritual Detox and Let Go MP3 meditation audios. Get their free report: 13 Spiritual and New Age Myths and 13 Other Spiritual Laws Besides the Law of Attraction